Pastrami topped the list of our favorite recipes for 2015. Who knew a regular person could make great pastrami at home? And who would ever have expected a recipe for that iconic Jewish deli favorite to come by way of a Taiwanese=Canadian living in Beijing? Well, it can — and it did.
One of Nancy's favorite 2015 food find has got to be the NY Times Chicken Shwarma recipe. It appeared early in the year in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. "That's a real keeper. I make that dish at least once a month. It's lemony and garlicky, and Mediterranean-spicy, and it takes no time to prepare at all if you're quick at mincing garlic."
Last summer I got a big kick out of making zucchini "crab" cakes. Sounds nutty, I know, but honestly, the texture and flavor are astonishingly close to the real deal.
For most useful new technique I'm saluting...
The Miracle of Meaty Jello
It's in our FfT about meatballs. I got the idea from a post about meatballs by Daniel Gritzer on the Serious Eats website. Use unflavored gelatin mixed with meat stock and refrigerated till firm. Mince and add to any ground meat recipe. I use it in meatballs, meatloaf, even ground meat fillings for Asian dumplings. It really makes a difference in flavor and mouth feel. It's the secret to Shanghai soup dumplings.
We also reminisced about the time I taught Nancy how to make my decades-in-the-perfecting version of the Chinese-American classic Shrimp and Lobster Sauce. Turns out it was more complicated than I realized. Though Nancy loved it, she reported that her husband Mac said it looked like a "dog's breakfast." Hmmph! Da noive a dis guy!
One recipe we didn't discuss and which I'll document soon is my friend Jim Robbins' weird and wonderful Smoked/Boiled Turkey. Honestly, it's the the tastiest, juiciest turkey ever. Sure, the skin is disgusting but I've got a work-around for that. Keep watching this space.
Finally, as Nancy and I plunge into our 10th year of cheerful chow chat here at KPLU, thanks so much for your letters and words of support. They mean the world to us. Here's wishing us all a happy and successful new beginning in 2016.
"Always start out with a larger pot than you think you'll need" – Julia Child